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Re: Berkeley DB 6.0 license change to AGPLv3

On Tue, 2013-07-02 at 09:44 +0200, Ondřej Surý wrote:
> Hi,
> Florian Weimer has correctly pointed out that Oracle has decided to
> change the BDB 6.0 license to AGPLv3
> (https://oss.oracle.com/pipermail/bdb/2013-June/000056.html). This
> hasn't been reflected in release tarball (probably by mistake), but
> since the AGPLv3 is not very friendly to downstream projects, we (as
> the Debian project) need to take a decision.
> My opinion is that this Oracle move just sent the Berkeley DB to
> oblivion, and Berkeley DB will be less and less used (or replaced by
> something else).

If the relicensing is real and not another misconfiguration of the
build/release system (like with MySQL docs), this sounds like a
shakedown for proprietary users of Berkeley DB.  GPLv2-licensed users
are collateral damage.

> What we can do right now (more can apply):
> [ ] Keep db5.3 forever

Well, indefinitely.  But I somewhat expect some BSD developers to try
maintaining a fork of it, as they're very unlikely to be happy with

> [ ] Suck it and relicense the downstream software as appropriate

GPLv3 is compatible with almost all common licences except GPLv2 (though
that might not be true with the additional conditions of AGPLv3).  If
anyone has made a decision to use GPLv2-only then I wouldn't expect them
to relicense for this.  Therefore a BSD-licensed libdb is still needed.


Ben Hutchings
Life would be so much easier if we could look at the source code.

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